January 03 2014 04:15PM
The Edmonton Oilers recalled Brad Hunt today, and word is he'll play in Anaheim against the Ducks tonight. His NHL debut comes at a sorry time for the organization, but I'm sure he won't care. Brad Hunt is going to be a bona fide NHL player in just a few short hours—it's been a long time coming.
WHO IS BRAD HUNT?
Brad Hunt wears #29 for the Oklahoma City Barons.He's an undersized pro defenseman (5.09, 174 according to the AHL site, 5.09, 188 according to the Hockey News) with good puck moving skills. His AHL boxcars this year (27, 3-12-15 +1) imply a successful offensive defenseman and Jonathan Willis suggested as much in the summer.
- Willis: What Hunt obviously brings to the organization is offence from the blue line. Two years ago, his coach at Bemidji State said he had an NHL caliber slap shot. In 2013, the hockey world received hard evidence of that as Hunt had the second-hardest shot (99.5 miles per hour) at the AHL All-Star game. His best chance at NHL employment might be as a power play specialist – 15 of his 33 points last seasoncame with the man advantage despite the fact that he didn’t get a lot of games right out of the NHL lockout.
That article linked to also details his previous experience with Craig MacTavish, which no doubt led to Hunt's signing with the Oilers (MacT coached him while both were with the Chicago Wolves organization).
BRAD HUNT ACTUAL FACTUAL
- He's from Ridge Meadows, BC, which is really Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows area of the lower mainland.
- He played college at Bemidji State, which is in Minnesota. Current NHLer Matt Read is from there, and former NHL player Joel Otto also came from Bemidji.
- He turned pro at the end of the 2011-12 season with the Chicago Wolves.
- In 2012-13, he scored well (65, 4-29-33) and the Oilers came calling.
- Hunt is enjoying a strong AHL season in OKC and is clearly a player the Oilers want to look at between now and summer.
- The most similar player-type in terms of skill set on the Oilers is probably Phil Larsen, although it is unlikely we'll see the same speed from Hunt.
THE BEMIDJI BEAVERS SONG
Go Bemidji Beavers,
Go you Green and White.
Go Bemidji Beavers,
Fight with all your might.
We are here to cheer you.
We're out to bring you fame.
So go Bemidji Beavers,
Fight and win this game.
B-E-M-I-D-J-I Bemidji, Bemidji, Go BEAVERS!!
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
It's a great day for Brad Hunt. His NHL debut will probably be a blur, but that line in TOTAL HOCKEY and HOCKEY-REFERENCE page will be there for history. No matter what happens after that, Brad Hunt is an NHL player.
(Barons photos by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved).